Brooklyn Bike Patrol Escorts Women Home in Park Slope and Prospect Heights

BK bike patrol.jpg
Jay Ruiz
Last week we reported on the rally organized in Park Slope by a new community group, Safe Slope. We learned that Safe Slope is starting a Safe Walk program that will pair women walking alone at night with walking buddies, and a Safe Space program that will partner with local businesses to provide safe havens for anyone who feels unsafe on the street. Now, women in Park Slope and the surrounding areas have a third option: the newly-formed Brooklyn Bike Patrol will provide bike escorts to solo walkers.

The Bike Patrol is the brainchild of Jay Ruiz, 55 46, and so far has 10 bikers signed on. Ruiz told the Daily News that the patrol would operate in Park Slope and also Prospect Heights, where he lives. Ruiz and his 10 volunteers will be on call from 8 p.m. to midnight and focus mostly on five neighborhood subway stations. They began offering escorts on Friday.

"It's so bad to see women getting attacked," Ruiz told the Daily News. "I feel like I have to do something." He said the Take Back Our Streets rally inspired him to start the group. We haven't yet been able to reach Safe Slope, but we did hear from Teresa Ish, the woman behind the petition to get free self-defense classes, who told us in an email "I haven't seen this, but I think it's great. You can be sure I'm adding the number to my phone (as well as the number for the ride share and walkers)."

We spoke with Ruiz on the phone this morning. He said that two more people have called the patrol wanting to volunteer since the NYDN article ran today and that they're looking to get at least 20 volunteers. "I patrol every day, but not everyone can," he said. The patrol is trying to get t-shirts made for easier identification; "If anyone owns a t-shirt company and wants to help us get some t-shirts, that would be great," he said.

Ruiz said that anyone looking for an escort should call his phone number: (718) 744-7592 (don't be surprised that the ringback is a Nas song) or email him at rocket55j@aol.com.

So far the police have said that there are at least two suspects involved in eight sexual attacks and one rape since March. Again, here are the two police sketches of the suspects:

nypd sketches rapist .jpg

Update 1:37 p.m.: Jay Ruiz just updated us about the t-shirts; he says that St. Francis Xavier church in Brooklyn is donating 25 t-shirts to the bike patrol.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

Go to Runnin' Scared for more Voice news coverage.

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14 comments
garage door repair irvine
garage door repair irvine

                             Brian is an investment banker in his early forties who, in graduate business school, first began to visit prostitutes, spend money on phone sex, compulsively masturbate and, finally spend as much as 5-10 hours a day looking at internet porn. When sexually acting out, he would feel that someone had turned on his brain for the first time. On the net, he would suddenly feel alive. He had energy and felt the euphoria that sexual immersion seductively provides. His mind slowed down; he didn't need to keep moving.

Aneka Anna Holly
Aneka Anna Holly

I'd love to see some cops on bikes maybe in groups of two (patrol cars are too noisy) patrolling after 12 midnight. Not doing escorts but riding down the blocks (maybe with special lights on and a whistle). Hypothesising that their presence will deter crime.

Greenwood Heights Chick
Greenwood Heights Chick

As I exited the 25th Street R Station last night, there he was, standing in the rain, bike at his side, offering flyers and an escort home. Though I didn't get his name, I thanked him for his efforts, and thought, "Who is this guy willing to stand outside at midnight in the chilly rain,  volunteering this service?" I see him in the picture above, so here's an opportunity to publicly thank Jay Ruiz and all the bike escorts who are supporting this momentous project and likely getting nothing from it but heart-felt appreciation from those they help and hopefully, sleeping a little better at night knowing they did something beyong tsk-tsk'ing about these assaults. Chalk one up for the good guys, New York.

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new york escorts

 The "quick fix" however, was followed by a crash which made him feel worse than he did before he went to the escort. Knowing he had once again lost control of himself, he would feel extremely remorseful and depressed. His feelings about himself bordered on self-loathing. After the crash, he no longer felt alert, focused, or euphoric. While Brian had been able to walk away from cocaine three years ago, the sex addiction had remained entrenched in his psyche: like an athlete's foot of the mind -- it called him -- incessantly-- an itch to be scratched but never soothed.

Lisa Goldberg
Lisa Goldberg

I just got a walk home with Jay! Best choice I could have made. He's a real neighborhood hero in my book. I realized I was going to get home late and I texted him and told him where I was going to be exiting the train. He met me and walked me home. I feel so much safer knowing I have this option open to me. Thanks again Jay!

NikhilChaundry
NikhilChaundry

For all future readers please read this author's attitude towards those who've had issues with the TSA crotch invasions and compare it to the tone she takes here:"It's not that we like the TSA -- they're always groping people -- but, you know, you'd need to replace them with some other kind of security system otherwise people would get very, very upset"On behalf of all women who've been severely upset and yes -traumatized- by the TSA searches due to the re-triggering of past sexual violence against them I demand that media pros include a more balanced debate. 1 in 6 women has experienced sexual violence in their lifetime.Do you think ,like so many commentators on the net seem to think,that workers can just cancel a flight? These people are traveling to work, and given the terror that must be involved if you've been sexually assaulted with passing through TSA security, I'm sure many business women's lives and work productivity have been disrupted by these totally inappropriate searches.

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 His days were the usual business of forgetting assignments and people's names, of losing things and being chastised by bosses, as he had been by parents, for not being able to sit still or follow directions. At home, he felt empty, depressed and lonely. He was unable to focus on a book or a movie. He often felt different than others. It was as though others were given a chip at birth that allowed them to remember simple things, to process information accurately, to complete tasks in an orderly fashion,

Andrew Kent
Andrew Kent

Perhaps the best way to stop these assaults is for more women to learnhow to protect themselves, and I'm not just talking about those namby pamby"non-violent" self defense courses that teach women evasive actionsthat leave the perp unharmed, only to rape again another day. I would rathersee women learning how to permanently blind their attacker with a set of keys,rupture his spleen with the tip of an umbrella, or surgically curtail his reignof terror with a pair of sharp scissors or a nail file deftly introduced into acrucial neck artery.

What law enforcement authorities prefer not to tell potential victims is that,for purposes of self defense, rape is the legal equivalent of deadly physicalforce, and that an intended victim of forceable rape may legally kill herattacker, whether or not he is armed, if she feels, as would a "prudentwoman," that doing so is necessary to prevent or curtail the rape. Thepolice seem worried that a weapon in the hands of a victim might be turnedagainst her by a stronger and more skilled attacker, but that presupposes thatcivilian women will not become trained as well as, say, female soldiers orpolice officers. This has to change.

Scissors, keys, nail files, and umbrellas are not considered weapons untilused as such, and, if used justifiably, they do not become illegal weapons aswould an unlicensed gun or a knife designed primarily for fighting. Of course,pepper spray may be preferable and easier to use, as escape is a safer optionthan close combat with an armed assailent, although pepper spray could backfirein a small vestibule or other enclosed space. Either way, be sure to use eitherthe spray OR the scissors, but not both, as stabbing an already visuallycompromised assailant, when escape is otherwise possible, may be seen byauthorities as the unjustified use of excessive force. BTW, I am not anattorney, so be sure to consult one before preparing for battle. Good luck.

Skyebreeze
Skyebreeze

I think that identifying the problem as women's inability to defend themselves simply deflects attention from the true problem: a society in which the average woman is expected to be able to fend off an attacker. "The police seem worried that a weapon in the hands of a victim might be turnedagainst her by a stronger and more skilled attacker, but that presupposes thatcivilian women will not become trained as well as, say, female soldiers orpolice officers. This has to change. "While I completely agree that women could better protect themselves by being better prepared and more highly trained, I find the suggestion that women are responsible for physically protecting themselves with ninja skills like puncturing spleens with umbrella tips insulting and unrealistic. In fact, it's similar to the CONTINUAL suggestion to females that they dress less seductively or simply not be in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time, thus "asking for it." Blaming the victim is something that may overlap one's logic, but it leads to rape and sexual assault being underreported by women who feel--quite understandably, I might add--a sense of shame at the attack they've suffered. As a very small female with high-level self-defense training, I would not expect a woman my age or size to have similar training, nor, I might add, should she HAVE to. I think that identifying the problem as women's inability to defend themselves simply deflects attention from the true problem: a society in which the average woman is expected to be able to fend off an attacker.I have seen criticisms of the Brooklyn Bike Patrol say everything from "how will they escort a woman when they have to be in the street?" to "the real problem is that women can't defend themselves," and in point of fact, the service is an inspired, selfless, chivalric, and realistic solution to an abject horror that women are forced to contemplate and even personally experience.It is never the hurt one's fault.GO BIKE PATROL GO

Epac
Epac

This sounds like a good idea, but...how is this going to work? The bike has to be in the street, not on the sidewalk (where the woman is walking). So if the perp doesn't see the bicyclist (at least immediately), doesn't that remove the deterrance factor?

And if someone does attack, doesn't the bicyclist have to waste a few precious seconds dismounting his bike?

I don't mean to be critical (I'm all for ANYTHING to deter an attack), just sayin'...

Rosie Gray
Rosie Gray

I think the advantage of the bikes is that the volunteers will be able to get places quickly in order to meet people who need accompaniment home. They'll ride alongside -- basically the same as if they were walking together, except one party will be on a bike.

Cmtribull
Cmtribull

He can walk the bike on the sidewalk! We had the same deal at my university. Bikes are good for quickly getting to the person who needs the walk. Unless there's a "no walking your bike on the sidewalk while dismounted" rule I don't know bout

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